A game that started with a dominating Golden State lead turned into a nail-biting showdown in the last two minutes. But no matter how entertaining the game was, the Los Angeles Clippers still opened the regular season 0-1.
Los Angeles had to settle for a 113-115 loss at Chase Center on Thursday night.
Steph Curry, who was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team earlier that day, opened the night by going 10-of-10 from the field. He had a 25-point first quarter by shooting 100% from the field and 100% from beyond the arc.
Guarding Curry is no small task, as Clippers forward Paul George noted during the postgame press conference.
“I think you just have to know where he is at. He’s so good. He’s just the complete package offensively,” George said. “He’s mastered how to get free without dribbling the ball. He’s just so elusive and quick. One second you look away and he’s gone.”
The Warriors found a 19-point advantage in the second quarter, but George was determined to turn things around. He spearheaded a strong comeback and helped the Clippers find their first lead of the night with just 22 seconds left in the period. Los Angeles entered halftime with a 67-66 lead after an impressive 25-5 run.
George registered 22 points by going 9-of-13 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range in that half. Eric Bledsoe and Ivica Zubac also contributed with double digits. Bledsoe got 15 points shooting at 77.8% from the field, while Zuback picked up 10 points with 75.0% shooting.
“All the way back to last year, our team just finds ways to try to win games,” Clippers head coach Tyronne Lue said when asked about that first half comeback. “No matter what combination we put on the floor, those guys compete, they play hard, and just try to find ways.”
Golden State tried to get away during the third quarter, but the Clippers one again fought back and finished that period on a 9-2 run, as well as a 93-90 lead.
And then came the final quarter.
Curry hit a huge three-pointer with 1:50 remaining. Bledsoe responded with a layup to put Los Angeles up 109-108, but Curry hit another big shot with 57 seconds left.
Draymond Green extended the Warriors’ lead to 113-109 with a layup with 11.6 seconds on the clock. George hit a pull-up 3 to give the Clippers hope with 5 seconds remaining. The game came down to free throws. Curry made two from the charity line and Zubac made one, while purposely missing the second one in hopes for a rebound and a chance to go into overtime.
Unsurprisingly, Curry finished the night leading all scorers with 45 points. He went 16-of-25 from the field, with half of those successful shots being three-pointers. Three other Warriors finished in double digits. Meanwhile, Los Angeles had six players record double figures, with George as the leader with 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting.
The Clippers will try to grab their first win of the season on Saturday Oct. 23 when they host the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center.